17 July 2018

Expectations


I love it when a quote or scripture that I’ve heard all my life is suddenly opened up to me through life’s experiences and tests.

 

“God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, 
the courage to change the things I can, 
and the wisdom to know the difference.”  
-Reinhold Niebuhr

The first time I remember seeing this quote was in the bathroom at church in Four Corners, OK. The saying always stuck in my head, but it wasn't until recently that I could see why I needed to apply it to my life. 

Tyrel and I are quickly approaching our 1st Anniversary and I have to say, what a wonderfully overwhelming learning experience about yourself and others! And on some days I might say that’s a generous description of the journey ;) but I’m slowly learning what keys to pull out in different situations to enjoy the ride through life. Those keys all link back to committing each situation and test to the Lord, but there have been times for me (being a woman of complex emotions) that I needed a specific plan of action on just how to commit -- plus the hope to believe it would satisfy and fulfill.

The Lord has given me two specific challenges that have helped me.
(1) To become a Millennial Pioneer Woman
(2) Don't focus on emotional expectations to be met


The first challenge came about two months ago. I wrote these notes down as I was sitting by a waterfall in a mountain pasture as Tyrel and his dad were unloading equipment for a fence job.


I’m okay with being a millennial pioneer woman.

I’m finally coming to grips with something my mom told me before I got married. She said my husband would not fulfill the boredom, restlessness, or the loneliness I was particularly feeling at the time. Truth is, I had no reason to be lonely. I still had the same great friends surrounding me. Yes, I was busy preparing for the wedding and had less time to go be with people maybe. But the point is, my mother was right. It was my attitude and outlook that needed to be adjusted.

I may have been struggling with loneliness 8 months ago, but the last 8 months has been the same story with learning to be happy where I’m at. I knew before I got married that I loved to travel, but more importantly spend time hiking, camping, and exploring God’s beautiful creation. Okay, I liked Hawaii pretty well too. ;P I knew that Tyrel was an extremely busy, hardworking man... but I love that about him and so I never thought twice about giving up that so called “vacation time” — until the reality hit that my previous life of being able to independatly plan a vacation really had changed. There’s a lot that I still need to learn about putting things into perspective though. Because Tyrel just took a day trip to Washington D.C. with me, Summer and Mom, and we went to visit friends in Charleston over the weekend with Summer. We got to visit my friends at Kevin and Heather's house in Ohio over a weekend. We were able to join my in laws and sister for a trip to Virginia in January and go stay with my parents at the end of January after a wedding. 

So yes we’ve been able to go on some wonderful little get-aways. But I’m afraid that what I want is just the typical Millennial desire to be a special/extraordinary/privileged person who looks a certain way on social media. You know, like those tropical week-long vacations somewhere tropical by ourself. Hmmm 😏 That's the normal ideal it seems.

I read an article about this recently in the Daughters of Promise magazine. The author wrote of her own struggle of feeling like she was doing things just to put off a certain air about herself.  I've made effort many times to not succumb to it, but I found yet another area, my marriage, where this comparison and entitlement has effected me.

Last week, as we were working on this same fence job...
 I was driving the tractor back across the side of the mountain. I enjoyed the scenery of the secluded field... I imagined myself as Heidi in a cotton summer dress doing chores on a beautiful mountainside similar to where I was. I was happy being there working with the simple blessings a pioneer woman would experience! But we live in a world of millennials (me included) who feel the urge to share those simple blessings that God DID mean for us to enjoy. Sometimes I feel like I can't enjoy something unless I get other's approval of how enjoyable they think it would be for them too. But often times, the broadcasting of those highlights breeds the opportunity for discontentment, comparison, jealousy, competition, etc. for yourself and others.

The next few days delayed the fence job because of the tabernacle building project at the church. I began getting restless and complaining again. But the Lord dropped the phrase “quiet spirit” to my mind, so I looked up the passage.

1Pe 3:1  Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives;
1Pe 3:2  While they behold your chaste conversation coupled with fear.
1Pe 3:3  Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel;
1Pe 3:4  But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.
1Pe 3:5  For after this manner in the old time the holy women also, who trusted in God, adorned themselves, being in subjection unto their own husbands:

The Lord also gave me a song while I was sitting there and I took some notes on it as thoughts just rolled out.


I felt a peace come over me immediately as I realized the blessing of being a “pioneer woman” AND the blessing it will bring myself and my husband if I can maintain a meek and quiet spirit by being content with where I am and the lifestyle my husband has (most generously!) provided. :) This all equals less frustration in my emotions and leaving my husband feeling more respected knowing that he IS all I need!

 Whether the problem is being anxious about not getting a break to have time along with my husband, or wondering when my husband “will show me love the way I WANT IT” (I know that sounds selfish and awful, but my natural tendency is to get hung up on that!! ) But that song and those scriptures just gave me a reminder to focus my hope in the right direction and not get distracted by selfish things!

Side note: Since the time I wrote this, I have strived to make a point to mentally notice the ways my husband does show me love (and he does of course frequently!!) And I have not felt deprived at all! It was my perspective that needed adjusted, not the ways he treated me! :) I'm just sharing my honest initial feelings so it may be a help to someone else who might be able to relate. ;)

No, a pioneer woman did not get picture-perfect vacations -- they enjoyed the beauty of what God gave them as He blessed them with it! They didn't have time for much leisure, but were they underprivileged? I don't think so. Just as I, living somewhat Pioneer-ish,πŸ˜‰ am not either more privileged or deprived for the way our lifestyle leads us.

So how do I pull off real joyful living like a pioneer in a world of millennial comparison and discontentment? I don’t have a complete answer yet. However, when I become restless and upset, my goal is to challenge myself with pondering the application my new name: “A Millennial Pioneer Woman”!





The second challenge came this last week through a tear-filled out-pouring of my heart to a young mother and wife to a farmer/entrepreneur. 


For a while I had this feeling that I should call her up — knowing she would likely understand and hopefully have some wisdom to share with me on being victorious over your emotions while living this glorious, yet hectic “pioneer life”. (I have no other description for it — the only way to understand it is to live it, so I won’t bore you.) I can not put a value on the connection my heart made to the words she said over the phone while describing challenges she’s likewise faced! Hint: don’t wait as long as I did to reach out to someone who’s “been there.”
After our conversation ended, I jotted down words on a sticky note that I placed on my bathroom mirror as a reminder. “Don’t focus on expectations. Enjoy CHERISH every moment.”

It hit home so hard as my mind replayed many times when I had pre-set in my mind what would feel comfortable or make me feel loved in such and such situation. Then there's endless advice I kept hearing about the need to have time to communicate with your husband and the value of going on dates that I *felt* like I never received. Remember these are feelings! I’m not putting my husband down. He’s a busy man providing for our household, and I value that! 
She discussed with me the value of stopping all you’re doing at the moment or day to spending that time with your husband whatever he may be doing. —and how that can be as blessed as a “date” this world advises us to take so frequently.

After the conversation I felt a weight lift knowing that I could release those expectations and if we REALLY need that in our marriage, the Lord can give us/me wisdom to know how to do that (or help me to see how we DO get those opportunitiesπŸ˜‰), OR give me serenity to accept that “it’s okay” anyway. 

It has worked, too! Yes, I still initially have the same negative thoughts about expectations when I’m not sure how or when (or if it's even necessary) to communicate. But I’ve decided if it’s going to cause me a problem, forget it!! And I end up much more peaceful and ultimately receiving the same blessed feeling I thought I would receive by following my own ideas of how things should go.



Here's the rest of the pictures from the day I got to spend hanging out with Tyrel while he bulldozed land for a pasture reclamation job. 


The daddy-dog, Rusty ;) Tyrel and I both enjoy the dogs' company on jobs.



Our kind doggie, Gimpers ;)



Thank the Lord for his blessings. :)

And for the blessing of family time. :)
Uncle Jaime and Aunt Karen are visiting, so we took Saturday afternoon off at the Pioneer Day parade and truck pull. Which ended in Tyrel entering his truck in for the pull just for the experience. :D







;D



A local friend who rode with him while he pulled :)




-MarLeahJoy






29 March 2018

I’ve been getting an adventure bug lately. But with everything to do at home and on the job, it takes away my desire to go find a nice hiking trail or plan a camping weekend for the spring. 

It’s been a burning inside me. And like I said, practicality adds to the fire and says “there’s no way with everything going on that you’ll ever have a time for a little solitary outing in nature.” 😌

But, the snow is melted today and the Lord aligned all the stars to bless me with a little “outing” today. 

We were driving to the job site today and there was a beautiful fog all around! I just soaked up all the beauty! ❤️ And I even managed to take a picture while we were driving. Tyrel knew I wouldn’t get my window rolled down in time, so he slowed down for me. ☺️




Then, a car passed us that had Arkansas license plates. And yes, they are known to be fast drivers in AR and this person was zipping along as well. Oddly enough, I had a strange connection to that car... it brought me back to Missouri for a few seconds. ☺️

So two years ago (this Easter Sunday) I took a backpacking trip in Arkansas with a good friend from church. We accidentally planned it over Easter weekend (oopsie), but it was the only weekend that worked for both of us. That was my first time (and long anticipated) backpacking trip. Needless to say it was amazing... and I think back to it often, wondering when I’ll do it again.

But back to reality....
We got to the job this morning, and I stepped out of the truck hearing a babbling stream running down the mountain side! πŸ’— The weather was surprisingly warm (for West Virginia!), and we were in woods that seemed just like the fond memories I carry of that backpacking trip in Arkansas. Only... it’s actually prettier here than that weekend in the Ozarks! There’s more green here with the moss, occasional evergreen tree, and the mountain laurel.  😍

I’ve been learning to be grateful for these opportunities to come to work with Tyrel and enjoy the little “hikes” I get in this beautiful mountain land! Somehow in my head it’s not quite been the same as hiking a long distance to find the reward of a beautiful stream or waterfall. So I’m trying to learn to think about it differently. And even though we drove here and all we had to do was walk through a gate, and even though I’m carrying around a chain saw and not my backpacking pack... I’m still getting to enjoy the beautiful landscape and new sights! ☺️

And today I feel so thankful for alllllllllllllll of that! But mostly for a new outlook on life!










Styling my new hat that I embroidered last night! πŸ’ͺ🏼 I was so glad to learn that my 4”x4” embroidery hoop would work with hats! πŸ˜„πŸ˜„ So now we shall all be decked out with “Beverage Farm” gear! ☺️


Later, I realized that you couldn’t see the hat in those pics, duh. So here you go! :)





-MarLeahJoy


20 March 2018

What on Earth am I Here For?


"The easiest way to discover the purpose of an invention is to ask the creator for it. The same is true for discovering your life's purpose: Ask God."


Since Thursday, I've been filling in for a friend to stay with an elderly man from the community.
I go in at 7:30 -- make his breakfast... do any house work or just sit and/or give him conversation until time to get his mail and have lunch together. Around 1pm I can go home for a few hours, then come back for 2 hours to make his supper... then I get to bring the rest of the food home to feed my husband supper. 
Ideal?
Far from it. 
In fact, when I told my sister in Oklahoma what I was doing, I could hear her eyes get wide over the phone as I told her how little I was paid to break up my whole day to spend 7-8 hours over there.

I was not necessarily enjoying my time "having" to stay with him, especially on a Saturday. But Tyrel reminded me why I'm there. So yesterday, I made it a point that "It was a good day to have a GOOD day!" ;) And I even told the man that... In all his 95 years, he had never heard anyone say it quite like that. ;)


But, I started reading a book today -- a 40 day journey -- that was a good reminder again as to why I'm doing this. 

"You were made for God, not vice versa, and life is about letting God use you for his purposes, not using him for your own purposes."

It is really amazing to think that the only real reason I should be doing what I'm doing (or the only one that matters!) is so that the soul of this elderly man can make it into Heaven.
Yes, I do have a way of obligating myself without knowing what I'm getting into. ;) So it's good to know that whatever my job may end up being... I have a purpose to be there!


I've also been struggling hard to find that place in my marriage as well. I'm so easily discontent with... well just about anything! If I don't get to spend the day with Tyrel, or if I do. If I get some alone time in the evening, or if I should be doing something else.
It seems as if I'm not bogged down by the "should-be's" of what I can't be doing right then to be the perfect wife, then I'm frazzled and not joyful because I actually get to be doing those things and then it's a "chore", or I can can be upset and depressed that I'm "left-out"... You name it! I feel like just when I get the victory over one, another one comes knocking at the door. 

The first step in solving a problem is recognizing it though -- so maybe I'll get there! ;)


So back to the book I'm reading... all of those quotes have come from "The Purpose Driven Life" by Rick Warren that Alyssa picked up for me at the library. I'm excited to follow the 40 day journey and apply it to my life.

I know this book can do nothing... except that God helps me apply the principles and scriptures to my life. And the biggest step is consecrating our self and desires to His greater purpose.


The pictures are all from this man's house I've been cooking at. He doesn't have wifi, so I've challenged myself to use his deceased wife's cookbooks. It's been fun to look through the many recipes for pickles she had and imagine the days when she had a large garden outside and her journey to find the perfect pickle recipe. ;)

To be honest, before I got married, I had a dream of interacting with the elderly here in this community to hear their "stories". My dream came alive in a different way than I expected, and it's not like I hear a history book everyday, but in a slow but sure way, I've experienced a lot, and it's fun if I make it fun! ;D

-MarLeahJoy



18 March 2018

Snow Days and Ducks


We still have a little bit of snow left over from this weeks' 14 inches or so. I didn't measure, because I like to pretend that I don't care enough to know, so I borrowed that measurement from several other people. ;)

Summer and I hung out with Gweny the first day it snowed... :) 



My favorite view of the valley... especially in the snow!




Tuesday, we were out in the field burning brush and tagging calves with Jake, so I got some pictures of Summer with her horses. <3














Then next day was truck hood sledding behind four wheelers with a big snow ramp involved followed by some wonderful potato soup, cookies, and snow-cream made by my mother in law. :)



Thursday, while in town, we got three little ducklings. <3


Skip to Saturday... Brent met the ducklings!! :)











my tulips in my greenhouse! :D


-MarLeahJoy